[b-hebrew] Wellhausen JEPD Theory re Patriarchal Narratives

Eric Forster eric.forster at american.la
Sun Dec 23 18:14:28 EST 2007


There are some interesting parallels between the Jacob-Laban narrative and the Tushratta letters. If the Jacob character is indeed based on Akhenaten, we find here what's becoming a recurring theme: Jacob's trickery.

In EA 23 Tushratta loans a gold statue of Ishtar to Amenhotep III, Akhenaten's father.  Sometime later, in EA 26, Tushratta complains to his sister, Queen Tiye of Egypt, that her son Akhenaten sent him back gold-plated statues of Ishtar, rather than solid-gold ones.

Certainly a tricky son-in-law.

Eric Forster

----- Original message ----------------------------------------
From: JimStinehart at aol.com
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Received: 12/23/2007 8:23:02 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Wellhausen JEPD Theory re Patriarchal Narratives

*Yigal Levin: 
*Let’s analyze the following first suggestion  of yours as to a story in 
*Patriarchal narratives that is redolent of the  1st millennium BCE, and 
*that is 
*not redolent of the  mid-2nd millennium BCE. 
*You wrote:  “The story of the "treaty" between Jacob and Laban the 
* Aramean 
*at Gilead 
*in Gen. 31, is an obvious reflection of the Israel-Aram  frontier in the 
*area in the 9-8 centuries  BCE.” 
*    1.  Laban is Jacob’s father-in-law.  Jacob/“Israel” is the 
*first leader 
*of  a monotheistic people in the Bible (as Abraham exiled all his sons  
*Isaac).  Tushratta, the  leader of Nahrima/Naharaim on the upper 
*River in the  mid-14th century BCE, was the father-in-law of the first 
*leader of 
* a monotheistic people in secular history, Akhenaten.  There is nothing 
*remotely like that in  “the 9-8 centuries BCE”.  (Note  that the 
*mid-14th century 
*BCE word “Naharaim” is right there at  Genesis 24: 10, 
*referencing the upper 
*Euphrates River.  The state of Nahrima/Naharaim/Mitanni  went extinct 
*the 14th century  BCE.)
*    1.  The last straw in the breakdown of the two men’s  relations is 
*the father-in-law from the upper Euphrates River (Laban, in  Genesis, 
*in the Amarna Letters) is beside himself with rage at the  failure of his 
*monotheistic son-in-law (Jacob in the Patriarchal narratives,  
*Akhenaten in the 
*Amarna Letters and the secular history of the  mid-14th century BCE) 
*to deliver 
*certain statues (teraphim in  Genesis, gold statues in the Amarna 
*There is nothing remotely like that in  “the 9-8 centuries BCE”.
*    1.  The background to this is that the father of the first historical  
*monotheistic leader of a people (Isaac in the Patriarchal narratives,  
*III in the secular history of the mid-14th century BCE)  had married a 
*from the upper Euphrates River, and everything had worked  out just 
*fine.  But 
*now when the  monotheistic son marries a woman from the same 
*location, relations  between the first monotheists and the Hurrians on 
*the upper 
*Euphrates River  break down completely.  So when  the fearsome 
*Hittites, under the 
*greatest Hittite king of all time,  Suppililiuma I, attack 
*Mitanni/Naharima/Naharaim, the first monotheists do not  lift a finger 
*to help.
*This entire story literally reeks of the Amarna Letters  and the 
*well-documented secular history of the mid-14th century  BCE.  One of 
*the biggest  
*developments in the secular history of the mid-14th century BCE was  
*when Akhenaten 
*shockingly thumbed his nose at his father’s greatest ally:  
*And the last straw was the same bizarre  item as is faithfully reflected 
*the Patriarchal narratives:  a virulent dispute over, of all the  crazy 
*certain statues that the monotheistic son-in-law from far to the  west 
*to deliver to his father-in-law on the upper Euphrates  River. 
*How close do you want it?  How could any story imaginable follow  the 
*Letters more closely than the very story you point  to? 
*Heavens, if this is as good as the 100-year-old  Wellhausen JEPD 
*theory of 
*the Patriarchal narratives gets as to a story that  allegedly reflects the 
*millennium BCE but not the  mid-2nd millennium BCE, then why does 
*anyone give 
*any credence to  that old, outdated, non-historical theory? 
*Yigal Levin, anyone who has read the Amarna Letters will  recognize 
*the story 
*of the irate father-in-law from the upper Euphrates River  breaking 
*with his 
*monotheistic son-in-law from far to the west over the bizarre  last 
*issue of certain statues that the monotheistic son-in-law failed to  
*Every single story throughout the entirety of the  Patriarchal narratives 
*just like that.  The amount of specific details picked up from the 
*Letters in the  Patriarchal narratives is truly astounding.  That was the 
*period of the birth of  Judaism.  That was the historical  Patriarchal 
*Age.  The 
*author of the  Patriarchal narratives is the first Hebrew in secular 
*who is  desperately trying to get Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten to 
*defend Canaan 
*against  the dreaded Hittites, to save his fellow pre-Hebrews from 
*annihilation.  This story of Tushratta vs. Akhenaten,  and Tushrattaâ€
*™s incessant whining 
*in the Amarna Letters over and over again  about the gold statues that 
*son-in-law Akhenaten was supposed to deliver to  Tushratta (and 
*never did), could 
*not be left out of the Patriarchal narratives,  because it was a critical 
*factor in the first Hebrews fearing an imminent  onslaught from the 
*In my humble opinion, you could not have picked a worse  story to try 
*to make 
*your point.  Can’t you come up with even one story in the 
*narratives that  is not plastered all over the mid-14th century BCE 
*Amarna  Letters?  
*Isn’t there at least one  story somewhere in the Patriarchal 
*narratives that 
*uniquely reflects the  ambience of the 1st millennium BCE, rather than 
*historical  Patriarchal Age of the mid-14th century  BCE? 
*Jim Stinehart 
*Evanston, Illinois

***************************************See AOL's top rated 
*b-hebrew mailing list
*b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
Virus Database (VPS): 071223-0, 12/23/2007
Tested on: 12/23/2007 3:14:29 PM
avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2007 ALWIL Software.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list